The Delicious Food On Offer in Busan
Busan is already quite well acknowledged for having delicious local food and specialty flavours that can only be found in Busan. The main foods of the city are a very raw fish called “Hoe”, Dwaeji Gukbap (pork soup), Milyeon (wheat noodle in a cold broth of chicken or beef) and Ssiat Hotteok ( pancake with seeds). If you have a friend who is from Busan and is showing you around the city then trust them to bring you to restaurants that will offer you great food with a chilled atmosphere, that could be comparably different to Seoul. First off you will have the beach and sea nearby, so the air will taste different, People are more warm and receiving in Busan and even if you speak the Seoul version of Korean really well, you might not completely understand what Busanites are saying to you 100% thanks to their unique dialect. But hey, that just adds to the experience and makes the trip all that more memorable.
Jagalchi Fish Market:
If you have been to Busan before then you will already have heard of this place. If you haven’t heard of this place then you are kinda missing out on seeing and experiencing something kinda awesome. You will never see anything like this back home. Yeah, maybe something similar but not like this. This fish market is located near Nampo Port. It has been operating since the Korea War and as you can see from the picture below, Jagalchi Ajummas rule the roost here. If you are a seafood lover and if you are willing then it is very possible to near unknown species to you. Whatever fish you buy here can be prepared for you in the restaurants beside the market. If you are in Busan in October, make sure to check up on the Jagalchi Fish Market Festival.
Milyeon (밀면) is a highly popular dish to eat for Busanites. Especially over the summer. If you spend a summer in Korea, you will understand why. This dish is made of a cold chicken or beef broth with wheat noodles. This restaurant has a long history and is also quite the famous location. It is said to have a sweet and sour taste to its milmyeon. Expect a queue at lunchtime and dinner time. Also its a pay first eat second kind of place so keep note of that. Milmyeon is about 5,000won per dish.
Dongnae Halmae Pajeon:
A restaurant with over 4 generations to its name. And it has preserved its special taste all that time. It is also the no.1 folk restaurant in Busan. This pajeon is said to have been presented to the King a long time ago. The ingredients of this dish are several kinds of seafood, green onions, beef with glutinous and non-glutinous rice also in there. The taste of it gives of a slighty soft and sweet taste. There is also other stuff on the menu like mushroom pajeon (버섯파전) and nurungji tangsu (browned rice with seafood) among other things for you to try out. The pajeon comes out in 3 sizes: small/medium/large (20,000won/30,000won/40,000won)
Millak Fish Town:
You can find this place at the end of Gwangalli Beach, Its a massive 10 storey building with the fish market on the bottom floor and all the upper floors are restaurants. This place, like Jagalchi Fish Market is considered a premier raw fish market. You will never anticipate the atmosphere you will see on the 1st floor. Its loud, lively and their hands are quick. Keep your eyes on them. You can take what you buy in the market to a restaurant on the upper floors or take it out and eat it on the beach if you wish. The restaurant is a better option in my opinion thanks to the view on offer. Expext to pay between 20,000 ~ 30,000won per fish.
Seomyeon Food Street:
To start off with, Make sure you have cash if you intend to eat the street food. The ajummas will look at you in disdain if you try to pay with card. The dishes on offer vary a lot. You can get pork soup, kalguksu (칼국수 and the classics like tteokbokki (떡볶이), dumplings, sundae (순대) and pajeon. There is a famous type of tteokbokki there too, Its much bigger than a normal tteokbokki. Koreans have a unique name for it. They named it after some famous 70’s Korean soft porn male star. Make sure to give the seasoned squid a try.
Twin Pork Soup:
This place serves Pork soup (돼지국밥) hands down is the most popular pork soup restaurant in Busan, all your Busan friends will say so. Its a pretty straightforward dish of pork bits and rice. A very rare find in Seoul but definitely a delicious dish you can enjoy properly in Busan. Oh and I must mention that is a regional dish from the Gyeongsando Province. This place will have lines guaranteed. All are looking for the same thing you will be looking for. The soup has a clean zing to it. There isn’t really that smelly pork smell that comes with most pork based dishes. Expect a first rate experience. This dish is quite reasonably priced at 5,500won. Bon appetite!
To find this snack (씨앗 호떡) easily, head to the BIFF square. There is lots of vendors selling this snack there. An always popular snack that has become more popular thanks to the Korean tv show “1 day 2 nights”. This snack is a sweet pancake with brown sugar inside. Also there is plenty of seeds too packed in as seen from the picture below. A rather inexpensive street food, you can buy a decent one for around 1,000won ~ 1,500won.
This place has over 68 years of history. Found in the Nampo dong area. Easily one of the most popular food joints in the area. You can find in nearby the BIFF square. They specialize in a dish called “wandang” which is akin to a mandu (dumpling) with 12 hours brewed anchovy soup. The dish costs about 6,000won with set menus also available.
This is obviously a list of the must try foods you can get in Busan. There is no guarantee that a dish on this list will suit your taste buds. But you can always give each one of them a try. The fist markets can be a particularly dicey experience for most foreigners. The first time you see a live squid that has been prepared for consumption might freak you it. It certainly freaked me out and had my friends in stitches. The other dishes on the list aren’t as challenging I promise. I particularly liked the Ssiat Hottdoek and the street food I found on Seomyeon food street. I enjoyed seeing the food being prepared right there on the spot and a meal consisting of this and that which cost me no more than 10,000won. Perfect when you are a backpacker or student. All in all, the food is different in some aspects to the food you can eat in Seoul and so therefore its worth your time and effort to find the best places to make sure to spend your trip in the most gratifying way. A friend in Busan to show you around is highly recommended, makes the journey all that more easier and comfortable. Busan Vagrance!!